Carl Barat, The Leadmill

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Carl Barat, The Leadmill

IT’S hard to imagine many people coming to the Leadmill to see Carl Barat to hear cuts from his latest solo album.

A few might be hoping to hear tracks that were made semi-famous by his last band, Dirty Pretty Things. But let’s be honest, the appeal for the majority of Carl Barat’s audience surely comes from his time writing songs with Pete Doherty in The Libertines.

Tonight’s setlist suggests that Barat is keenly aware of this. The new material he plays takes in a wider range of styles than the poetic indie-rock he helped to patent at the start of the last decade. There are more soulful grooves and crisper melodies. The ballads have the mournful strings of Eastern European folk.

But for much of the set, Barat relies on well-known Libertines material to capture the crowd’s attention and provoke a reaction. It feels like trading on the past, with a backing band that lacks the trend-setting determination of the original Libertines line-up. The atmosphere can feel uncomfortable when they play a track like Up The Bracket – a song defined by Doherty’s slapdash vocal style, which Barat himself has never quite nailed. At best, the group sound like a very convincing covers band.

Of course, Carl Barat knows what his audience wants and expects. And when he’s got songs as strong as The Libertines’ back catalogue at his fingertips, you can’t really blame him for using them.

Robert Cooke

The View, The Leadmill

WHEN The View were flung onto the scene with their first big hit, Same Jeans, it seemed like they were destined for big things – that is, until they released their second album Which Bitch? Following the commercial and critical flop, The View retreated back into the studio and haven’t been heard from since - until the recently announced 2011 tour.

Following a surprisingly impressive set from openers Sound of Guns, The View take to the stage with their usual amount of drunken energy - and, to stick a cliché on it, it’s as though they’ve never been away. After playing two sold-out Glasgow shows in January, The View still have seemingly boundless amounts of confidence and grin cheekily at the crowd before launching into Glass Smash.

New single Grace had an unexpectedly strong reception, especially considering that it was only released four days earlier.

Fan favourite Wasted Little DJs gets a similar reaction, with the loyal fanbase singing along to every word. The View still have the ability to get the crowd excited and the exhilaration was almost palpable.

The mix of old favourites and new songs served only to enthuse the crowd and the atmosphere was borderline electric. Whatever let-downs The View have served up in the past, this definitely wasn’t one of them.

Ace Carroll